Responses from more than a dozen bookmakers this week suggest fewer than 20 people nationwide actually backed Leicester City at the start of the season at the now widely-publicised odds of 5,000/1 to be crowned Premier League champions.
Furthermore, only a handful of bookies offered those 5,000/1 odds, most now hovering around the Foxes’ current 9/4 (Stan James).
Such dramatic changes in price are extremely rare, as is backing a possible 5,000/1 outcome with more than a fiver.
But every week, millions of punters place relatively small stakes on treble and accumulator bets at attractively long odds, a characteristic of fixed odds football betting which perhaps explains why the Lottery remains so popular.
While 5,000/1 is nowhere to be seen amongst the long list of bookmakers’ odds when Huddersfield Town travel to Nottingham Forest (the home side are bet365’s 11/10 favourites to win, the visitors 11/4 according to BetVictor.com), the correct score markets offer punters an opportunity to back several outcomes at decent prices and still win, even if the majority of bets lose – as they have an unfortunate tendency to do.
For instance, assume you’ve backed the draw (13/5, Skybet) as a form of insurance, supplementing this bet with a selection of correct scores could pay dividends.
A goalless outcome appears unlikely.
But backing a 2-2 draw, priced at 14/1 by Winner.com, is not the action of a desperate gambler chasing outrageous odds.
Supporting results ‘either side’ of this effectively hedges the bet, with the most obvious being a 1-1 outcome, offered at 11/2 by Paddy Power.
Similarly, a 2-1 home win (8/1, Ladbrokes) is not out of the question, although nor is a 2-1 away victory (19/2, William Hill).
Instead of placing say £20 on a 2-2 result, putting £5 on all four outcomes ensures that, even if the shortest-priced outcome (11/2) comes up, the punter still enjoys a 37% profit, clearing £7.50 on top of his £20 stake.
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